Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence has authored thousands of articles expounding on the three primary forms of sports handicapping: Fundamental, Statistical and Technical. To be a successful handicapper, blending all three forms of analysis into the handicapping equation. Marc relies heavily on a proprietary powerful database of scores, stats and results of games played since 1980, both College and Pro Football and College and Pro Basketball.

Marc has been handicapping sports professionally since 1975, having won more documented Top 10 Handicapping Achievement awards than any handicapper in the nation. He won the 2005 STARDUST FOOTBALL INVITATIONAL Contest and was a SEMI-FINALIST in the 2006 $100,000 LEROYS' MONEY TALKS Contest last season. He finished the 2006 season as the No. 1 handicapper in the NFL as documented by SPORTS WATCH in Las Vegas. Marc also finished No. 1 in the nation in College Football win percentage in 2005 as documented by both the SPORTS MONITOR in Oklahoma and SPORTS WATCH in Las Vegas. He was named HANDICAPPER OF THE YEAR in 2005 by FOOTBALL NEWS.

In 2008, he finished No. 1 in NFL win percentage according to SPORTS WATCH and also captured 1st place honors in the 2008 PLAYBOOK WISE GUYS CONTEST.

Marc has hosted a national radio show "MARC LAWRENCE AGAINST THE SPREAD" for each of the last 16 years on over 100 stations syndicated in the USA. He is a tireless handicapper who works a minimum 60-hour week during the football and basketball seasons. As a handicapper he firmly believes that three things can happen when you bet an underdog, and two of them are good. He enjoys helping others to become better informed.

Marc married his high school sweetheart 40 years ago and has one son, Marc Jr., who works with him in the industry. Aside from publishing the PLAYBOOK Football Yearbook magazine and Weekly Newsletters, Marc enjoys golf and horse racing.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2011


NFL Wild Card Angles


Handicapping the NFL Playoffs can be a bit tricky.

The knee-jerk reaction is to back home teams. After all, they have been a solid-moneymaker, going 157-125-6 ATS (55.6%), dating back to 1980.

Today, however, that would be a mistake as the success of home teams in the playoffs has dissolved like an Alka Seltzer in a cold glass of water.

A closer look finds home teams just 109-94-5 ATS since 1990 and, even worse, 54-56-7 ATS since 2000. Hence, like the economy, they have fallen on hard times.

The key is breaking the playoffs down into rounds. And in doing so it’s wise to remember the oddsmakers have made the visiting teams more attractive (read: value-laden) than ever before.

Let’s break down opening round games involving No. 3 or lower seeded teams with these three time-tested theories. Note: all results are ATS (Against The Spread) and are since 1980, unless noted otherwise.



Stun guns

Teams in NFL Wild Card round contests playing off a straight up season ending loss as a favorite tend to bounce back up off the carpet, going 30-15-1.

Better yet, dress them up as dogs and they improve to 14-4.

Double pressure

Teams off back-to-back season ending losses apply their own tourniquet as they stop the bleeding, going 20-9.

Put them at home and they zoom to 13-4.

ATS diabetes

Teams off a season ending blowout win in which they beat the spread by more than 20 points suffer from more than a sugar rush, going just 10-17-2 during this round.

Feed them a field goal (+3) or more and they die a slow death, going 1-7.

There you have it. I’ll be back next week with a peek at the Divisional Round playoff matchups.

Good luck as always.


Written by Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence can also be found at Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Season Ending Division Finales


Take a look up and down the NFL schedule this Sunday and what do you find?

A division orgy.

Curiously, for the first time in NFL history, all 16 games are division matchups.

In an attempt to prevent teams from ‘laying down’ the final week of the season, the NFL brass went to the schedule maker and mandated all season ending contests be division games.

This unprecedented move appears to have worked as a good majority of games this week find teams with a plethora of playoff implications inside the matchups. And because, for all intents and purposes, division games take on a double-importance both in the standings and in NFL tiebreakers, this week’s games certainly take on a whole new stratagem.

That being the case, here are some notes of interest from our powerful database in games played in the past involving division pairings in regular season finales. Please note all results are Against The Spread (ATS) and since 1980, unless noted otherwise…



Size matters

The pointspread is a string barometer when it comes to season ending division games.

That’s because favorites of nine or more points are 20-12, while favorites of less than three points are 12-20-1.

.666 or greater teams laying nine or more points are 17-5, while favorites of less then three points are only 6-14-1 when facing .500 or greater opponents.

Margin call

Teams off ATS spread margins at opposite ends of the ladder have performed accordingly.

Those entering off a spread loss of 25 or more points are 15-10-1, including 9-3 versus and opponent off an ATS win.

On the flip side, those off a spread loss of 25 or more points are 7-13, including 2-9 versus a foe off a win.

Bad dogs

Simply put, there is no disguising bad teams in season ending division finales.

Those who were dogs of nine or more points the previous week are 9-17 in these contests, including 3-11 when taking seven or more points this week.

Worse, put these seven-plus point dogs at home and they vanish into thin air, going 0-7.

One and done

Put a team in a season ending division finale off one win-exact and they tend to dissolve faster than a patty melt at an over-eaters luncheon.

Teams in this role are 7-20 when playing off a win of 16 or more points, including 1-15 when favored.

There you have it, a quick glimpse at some of the more intriguing situations surrounding this week’s season ending NFL card. Divvy them up and enjoy the feast.


Written by Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence can also be found at Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010


BOWL TALE OF THE TAPE


The 2010 College Bowl games have descended upon us and with it we begin working overtime on the season as we handicap the matchups.

One time-tested theory that holds up well during the post-season is isolating teams and how they fared in games this campaign against winning opposition.

It’s one thing to make your mark against stone-cold losers. It’s another to be able to go toe-to-toe against winners.

Listed below is a breakdown of 2010 bowlers that fared well against teams that owned a winning record at the time of their meeting this season.

Here are the teams that were winners on both sides of the SU (Straight Up) and ATS (Against The Spread) ledgers against winning teams this season. Check it out:



Arkansas 5-2 SU and 6-1 ATS
Auburn 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS
Boise State 3-1 SU and 3-1 ATS
Connecticut 4-1 SU and 4-1 ATS
Hawaii 4-1 SU and 4-1 ATS
Michigan State 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS
Missouri 6-1 SU and 4-3 ATS
Navy 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS
NC State 4-2 SU and 4-2 ATS
Northern Illinois 2-1 SU and 2-1 ATS
Ohio State 7-1 SU and 5-2-1 ATS
Ohio U 2-1 SU and 2-1 AT
Oklahoma 7-2 SU and 5-4 ATS
Oklahoma State 5-1 SU and 3-2-1 ATS
Pittsburgh 4-1 SU and 4-1 ATS
South Carolina 5-3 SU and 5-3 ATS
TCU 5-0 SU and 3-2 ATS
Texas A&M 5-3 SU and 5-2-1 ATS
Tulsa 3-2 SU and 3-2 ATS
Virginia Tech 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS
West Virginia 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS
Wisconsin 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS

On the flip side are the 2010 bowlers that struggled both SU and ATS in games against winning teams this season. They include:

Arizona 2-3 SU and 2-3 ATS
Army 2-3 SU and 2-3 ATS
East Carolina 5-2 SU and 6-1 ATS
Florida 2-5 SU and 2-5 ATS
Georgia 2-5 SU and 1-6 ATS
Georgia Tech 0-3 SU and 1-2 ATS
Kansas State 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS
Louisville 1-3 SU and 1-3 ATS
Michigan 3-5 SU and 1-7 ATS
Mississippi State 2-4 SU and 2-4 ATS
Penn State 3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS
SMU 2-4 SU and 2-4 ATS
South Florida 3-5 SU and 2-6 ATS
Texas Tech 2-4 SU and 2-4 ATS
Washington 3-4 SU and 3-4 ATS

There you have it. A tale of the tape of your 2010 bowl teams. Let the fights begin.


Written by Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence can also be found at Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping
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